Cloth Diaper Podcast – Show 26

Landfills, Detergent, & Cloth Diapering

Cristina, @EcoGirlMama, joins me to share her cloth diaper journey. She is a Smart Bottoms Ambassador, mom of 2, and from Kansas. Her passion to cloth diaper started with a life long journey of health and natural living. 

On the show, we talk about how detergents might impact health and environment. Cristina then provides some insight on how to know what might work for you and your family, and how she’s made it work for her. 


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Show Transcription

Show Notes

Why did you start cloth diapering 

It started back with healing her body with food, and it led into natural living. She knew she’d be cloth diapering for environmental reasons. 

What is your cloth diaper stash?

Cristina uses Smart Bottoms Covers with a bamboo insert. She did start with cotton but her child is very sensitive to wetness and switching to bamboo immediately remedied the red angry rash situation. She did try hemp but it was leaky. 

Bailey talks about the bamboo and textile industry a touch – and that its about learning and shifting with the next purchase, or the next conversation. Just because something work doesn’t mean it’s all bad and needs to be tossed today. 

What do you think is the largest environmental benefit to cloth diapering?

Looking at the trash situation in the United States, 20 billion disposable diapers are added to the landfills each year creating 3.5 million tons of waste that takes 500 years to dispose. Every single disposable diaper that has ever been made is still here on Earth. 

500 years to decompose but if you need it to break down then it needs oxygen. And typically American landfill are not suited to this kind of burial. 

And the largest environmental drawback would be connected to your hesitations around Tide?

Cloth Diapering and using Tide is better than using disposables but that said there are better options out there for washing diapers.  

Why as a Consumer should I be concerned about using Tide?

Tide works but if you look at the different apps out there that rate cosmetics, Tide but does not score well on either site. The concerns: cancer, endocryne, respitory effects, aquatic toxicity… 

As someone who has focused so much on natural healing, then Tide doesn’t fit the bill as something she wants for her body or her children. 

Bailey reflects on the disposable diaper report and that many of the chemicals impact our health in ways we don’t know. And that the long term health impacts of these chemicals regardless of where they come are hard to pinpoint. Things might not have an effect as one small product in one thing but what about in all the things? 


Where would you point someone to when trying a different detergent? How do you help them problem solve this adventure?

Check out the Think Dirty App or the Environmental Working Group site – you can look up any detergent you and that tells you why it gets the rating it gets. 

Cristina started by going to her local food store because of their standards – Natural Grocers – and that was her starting part. She went home and looked up what they have and what did these apps say about that. But you can’t just use anything you want, theres lot of biases, and do your homework to see how it might work for you. 

Switching to a New Cloth Diaper Detergent? I know it’s Hard.

What is is a fair shot? probably about a month of use. 

Is there anything that wouldn’t work? It’s so individual. The resolution is you don’t know what will work. Experiences vary some things will work for some people and some things will not. 

What are you using that works? Seventh Generation Ultra Power Plus for the past two years. She hasn’t had any of the  issues that other people have said they have. She’s done one strip and she’s not even sure she needed to do it. And uses Calgon to balance it in the hard water, but she is actively looking for something better.  They both get C’s and she’s looking for an A.  

There are some with A’s but whether they work next is hte hard question – she’s going to try BioKleen next. The powder can replace both effectively. She’s hoping!. 

Do you find that the type of diaper impacts your detergent options? Maybe just the microfibre.
“and I love it as much as I thought I would”

If you’re having problems with diapers… it depends on the issue on how you solve it. 

Where can we find the support to make this switch? Reach out to your cloth diaper brand, or their Facebook Community or a Natural Parenting Store they might be helpful. 

For more listen to the show 😉 

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